Getting the Most from HR Software

Would you rather use a typewriter or a word processor? An encyclopedia or a search engine? Software helps people do all kinds of tasks faster, easier, and better than before—including human resources responsibilities. No longer must HR professionals be buried in paperwork, PTO balance inquiries, and tedious double-entries. HR management software has revolutionized the way they work and magnified the positive impact they have on their organization.

In this chapter, you’ll learn:

We’ll primarily discuss the most powerful and widely used type of HR software: a human resource information system (HRIS), also known as a human resource management system (HRMS).

What Is an HRIS?

Some HR software is designed to do just one thing, such as gathering employee feedback or tracking employee hours. An HRIS is a software package that combines multiple systems and processes. An HRIS collects and stores data about employees, but in most cases that’s only the beginning. The features in typical HRIS software perform basic functions for end-to-end human resources management—and many systems cover advanced needs as well.

Working together, the features in a well-rounded HRIS help companies organize and manage their people data and streamline human resources functions. For example, an HRIS may help automate recruiting, track employee time, process payroll and manage benefits, automate administrative tasks, keep records, track compliance, and much more.

These capabilities become increasingly important for small businesses as they grow. As a handful of employees becomes a few dozen, then a hundred, then two hundred, it becomes harder and harder to keep everything organized and everyone on track using paper and spreadsheets. And the longer you wait, the more challenging it becomes to put all of that information into new HR management software.